Spring 2020 E-Newsletter
Letter from Dr. Freeman
This past spring semester was unlike any we’ve had in the 25 years I’ve worked at UTC. These past few months have challenged our division like nothing we’ve ever seen before, and now, more than ever, I am immensely proud of our team. You never lost sight of our division’s mission and goals as you continued to provide support and services to the campus community under unprecedented circumstances.
Thank you for your dedication this past semester. As the University moves forward with plans for the rest of the year, please be assured that I see you, I appreciate all your hard work and I am advocating for the interests of the division at every opportunity I can. Be well and take care of yourselves.
University Health Services (UHS) continues to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by Dr. Yasmine Key, UHS has quickly taken action with a wide variety of initiatives to support the UTC community during this difficult time. A new telehealth system implemented, allowing the center to remain fully operational while staff worked remotely. UHS also created an easy-to-use online form to connect UTC community members affected by the current pandemic with resources and support. The staff has also been leading educational sessions for the campus community, ensuring University stakeholders have accurate, updated health information.
Dr. Key and Dr. Chris Smith, Chief Health Officer, were both asked to serve on the University’s Fall 2020 Task Force. The task force is currently meeting to discuss creative ideas and solutions for providing a high-quality educational experience in a safe and healthy manner as UTC returns to offering instruction on campus.
The EMSA division put together a plan to reach out to current students about their wellbeing. The Mocs Checking on Mocs campaign started with an email asking the simple, yet powerful question, “How are you doing?” If a student responded that they were struggling, he/she received a personal phone call from one of the 99 UTC faculty or staff members who volunteered for the initiative. In a matter of days, more than 1,000 students received phone calls offering support and guidance.
Veteran Student Services received the prestigious Minuteman award from the Tennessee National Guard Association. This award was given in recognition of the UTC’s support and contributions to members of the military.
Theresa Blackman, Pre-Health Professions Advisor in the Center of Academic Support and Advisement, created a website for students to find more information about health careers. The website includes resources on UTC healthcare programs, study abroad opportunities, standardized test preparation and more.
Dr. Crystal Edenfield coordinated a study away trip for first generation students over spring break. Called “The Civil Rights Experience,” students visited four major local and regional historical sites in Alabama and Tennessee during the 55th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. She wrote about the experience for The Center for First Generation Students website.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions, New Student and Family Programs, Financial Aid and Mocs One Center hosted several weekly virtual chats for prospective students and their families on topics related to successfully enrolling at UTC. See the Admissions website for the schedule of upcoming meetings.
Tricia Henderson, Director of the Center of Student Wellbeing, and Dr. Elizabeth O’Brien, Executive Director of the UTC Counseling Center, have received $99,884 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association for the project entitled, “UTC Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Education Grant.”
The Center for Women and Gender Equity pivoted their programming for Sexual Assault Awareness Month to virtual activities like Zoom chats, online workshops and more.
The closure of the ARC didn’t stop Campus Recreation from engaging with the campus community. Staff have hosted live workout classes on Instagram, offered 10 different e-sports leagues for students and encouraged participation in the 2020 National Recreation Movement.
A design by April Cox, Creative Director for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, was selected for ArtSpark, an initiative by Public Art Chattanooga Commission and the River City Company, to beautify utility boxes in and near downtown Chattanooga. You can see her work at the corner of Frazier Ave. and Manufacturer’s Rd.
It’s not easy to lead an office during a global pandemic, but Jason Lyon, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, is doing just that. He’s only been in the position a few months, but according to Terrence Banks, the office’s Diversity Outreach Coordinator, you would never know it. “During these changing times, Jason has been extremely supporting and very helpful,” he said. “He’s kept us all in the loop and he has done an outstanding job at making us feel at ease and confident in the task we needed to complete.”
But the most important thing Jason’s done? “Our staff Zoom meetings are very engaging and very hopeful,” Terrence said, “He has truly served as ‘a lighthouse in the dark’ for our team during these challenging times.”
Appointments, Promotions and Retirements
- Melissa Laseter was named Interim Director of Student Support Services.
- Jason Lyon was recently selected as the Director of Admissions.
- Kim Whiteside was promoted to Director of Financial Aid.
- Kim Haynes was promoted to Processing Manager in the Office of Financial Aid.
- Sarah Edgar joined our team as the Financial Literacy Coordinator.
- Erin Maynard joined the Disability Resource Center as a Testing Center Assistant.
- Amy Beal accepted a position as an Academic Advisor in The Center for Academic Success and Advisement.
- Lauren Burns joined the Center of Student Wellbeing as an Assistant Director for Education and Prevention.
Submit to the Newsletter
This newsletter was created to celebrate division accomplishments, impacts and hard work. Please submit ideas on how you and your staff are working together brilliantly using the online form. Have questions about the newsletter or need help with your submission? Email Laura Bond.
For division employees who need to subscribe, please email April Cox.